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Author Topic: Ugears- wooden mechanical models  (Read 1255 times)
James Harrison
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« on: July 02, 2016, 02:29:56 pm »

Has anybody come across these before?

https://ugearsmodels.com/

Very interesting and definite SP potential in my book.  I've bought the timer/ alarm clock model;



I think I might varnish it in a mahogany finish before I build it.
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2016, 07:55:32 pm »

I can honestly say that I'm amazed and enthralled by these models, thanks for sharing them!
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2016, 08:25:43 pm »

I think someone else has posted about them before, somewhere around here.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2017, 06:52:43 pm »

Shock!  Horror!  I've finally gotten around to deciding to do something with this kit.  I think after ten months sitting on the bedroom floor, under a mountain of detritus, the plywood should be adequately seasoned.  If it can survive that it should be able to survive anything....

Anyway; the main thing holding it up has been my dislike of the plain plywood finish and looking for a suitable wood dye to treat the sheets.  I've found one (I'll be painting it more to resemble mahogany) and I anticipate being able to start it in a few days time or so.  In fact, Easter's coming up so it could be a nice Easter weekend project. 

Stay tuned for a build log....
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Banfili
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2017, 01:48:20 pm »

Mechanism Man's Antikythera Mechanism thread on this forum would be a good place to start looking for this kind of wooden model. He did, however, cut all the parts himself.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2017, 08:28:28 pm »

I'm sure I followed that thread as the Mechanism was being built!- truly something to aim for.  Well, let's see what can be done in the way of improving this fairly cheap little kit. 

What do you get for your money?

First off, a comprehensive little instruction booklet full of computer-generated exploded diagrams showing how it all fits together. 





Then you have four sheets of laser-cut plywood, a couple of rubber bands, a length of plastic string and a couple of dozen toothpicks (bizarrely, each toothpick is individually packed)....









This is everything that you need to build the kit as-per the box illustration.  But as I have said, I would prefer it to look a little more Vicwardian.  I've not decided just how far I want to take this; possibly I might replace the plastic string with some fine jewellery wire- but I've not decided on that yet- but one thing I have decided on is that I want a better colour than plain plywood.  My personal preference runs to mahogany...



(Yes, I am sorry to say that is my hand in that photo.  I'm a martyr to bitten fingernails I'm afraid.)





And, after a bit of elbow grease, this is what the sheets start to look like.  This is after one coat of wood dye applied with some kitchen towel.  I may, yet, go for a second coat, but at the moment I quite like this hue.  We shall see once it has dried out.  Of course, each piece after being punched out from the sheet will need the edges painting in too. 
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Banfili
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2017, 11:36:23 pm »

Going to watch this build. You can get all kinds of models - even dinosaurs!
The jewellery wire will need to be under some tension, or it will coil all over the place. Perhaps some of that very fine braided wire you get for electronic work?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 11:38:12 pm by Banfili » Logged
SeVeNeVeS
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2017, 11:48:05 am »

Will be watching this build.

How did you find the colron stain? Since they changed to water based, not too keen myself, just brown paint....... (but I discovered it will take to white wood primer/undercoat and give a woody finish). I tend to use boot polish now.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2017, 05:28:56 pm »

It doesn't really go far, does it?  Pour some on a rag, apply rag to wood.... and marvel how it is immediately suckered up.  I was half expecting to run out of wood dye before I'd got more than half done. 

I think the plan tonight will be to rub down the ply sheets and go for a second coat of dye. 
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James Harrison
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2017, 03:32:47 pm »

So after a second coat of dye last night I started to build the kit.  The first thing you have to do is to build up a series of individual components, mounted on axles, which I presume will eventually be escapements, counter-balances, pendulums and the like. 













Although the kit is laser cut, there are issues with punching the parts out- it's all very tight- and when it comes to threading them onto toothpick axles I'm finding I not only have to file down the toothpicks but also then lubricate them with candlewax.  Even then however I'm getting through two or more toothpicks for each axle; they're just too delicate, or the holes are too small, or a combination of both; and I'm concerned that there aren't enough picks included in the kit to allow for a 50% breakage rate.  I'm even keeping the broken ones, as in several instances you're instructed to put a toothpick through, then cut it off flush with the part. 
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James Harrison
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2017, 10:55:48 pm »

This evening's effort- I'll post some photographs tomorrow- sees most of the mechanism components completed. There is I think one still to build. I also think it was a mistake to dye everything whilst still in the flat, as in taking up the dye the ply might have swollen a little. Not by much- but by enough to reduce minimal clearances to none at all. As a consequence, ev koery toothpick has to filed down and lubricated before it will fit- and some components which should be a push fit into each other are anything but. I'm even having to drill out holes and file parts down. So it's taking probably two or three times longer than it should to build it (I'm sure I've read somewhere the manufacturers reckon it should take between four and six hours). Anyway, tomorrow should see the last of the mechanisms built and then onto the framework.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2017, 11:46:08 am »

And here are the parts that were built up last night....





Yeah, that one splintered a bit whilst I was fighting to get it all to clip together....









I am starting to get a bit frustrated with having to build several smaller bits before actually putting it all together, but actually thinking about it I suppose doing it as a mass of subassemblies is an encouragement to get it all done.  Otherwise the temptation would be to get so far with it, put it on a shelf and forget about it for months.  If I were to do that with this, I'd probably lose half the bits...
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James Harrison
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2017, 08:31:21 pm »

Arrrrggghhhhh!

Well, it is all built up, but refuses to work.... I'm going to have to strip it down and clean up all the gears, grease it all up, and reassemble it I think.  Still, that at elats give me chance to take some photos of the subassemblies being put into the frame.   
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James Harrison
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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2017, 05:42:36 pm »

It nearly, but not quite, works.... it starts, it runs rather too quickly, then it stops.  Encouraging that it at least halfway works, it's less of a mountain to climb to get it going well than it is to get it going at all...

I think tonight I'll be cleaning up each of the gear wheels, removing any little burrs, smoothing down the cog teeth and lubricating the lot.   
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James Harrison
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2017, 09:29:21 pm »

Cleaned up the gears, re-greased them.... partial success....

Without the pendulum counterweight, it runs very smoothly but rather too fast. With the pendulum counterweight, it runs at the right speed, then has a mad five seconds where it runs far too fast, then it will just stop and needs a nudge to get going again.  Then 45 seconds or so of smooth running, mad five seconds, and stops..... and a nudge....

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Banfili
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2017, 11:58:46 pm »

James, it might be worth your while using a very, very fine round file, such as used for reaming out burrs in the holes through beads, for smoothing the cog-holes etc.
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selectedgrub
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« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2017, 07:42:01 am »

Your dye painting came up nice, they even look rusted.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2017, 05:39:20 pm »

Yeah, I'm quite pleased with the dye, even if I have had to file it all off the gear teeth again to get it to work.  I'm considering drybrushing a gold or brass colour onto the clockhands, just to make them stand out a bit.  I'm also not sure about the plastic 'wire' across the top; it may be a part of the running problems. It seems funny how without the pendulum roller it works well, but the second the roller goes on everything else goes haywire.  I may swap out the plastic for some fine wire (I think I have a fair bit of fine brass loco handrail wire I can use), which would be more robust and less given to sag. 

Other than that, I don't know.... maybe it just needs greasing up and running in?  I'll have another crack at it this evening. 
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James Harrison
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« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2017, 09:03:01 pm »

Riiiiight....

I tried tightening up the plastic wires, it still ran badly.  I re-lubricated the axles, the wires, everything I could think of... still ran very ropey.  So I replaced the plastic with some brass wire, with much the same result. 

The fact is, that it will run very sweetly without the roller, albeit at about eight times too fast.  So the challenge then is to find a way of slowing it down without the roller. 

Did I mention that a few days ago I took delivery of about 2 kilos of car wheel balance weights?  They're intended for my model railway kits of course, but.... so a little experimenting took place.  Putting 5 grams at the top of the pendulum brought it of course crashing hard over to one side, but then putting 10 grames below the pivot point brought it back on an even keel. 

Setting it going showed a bit if improvement; it only ran five times too fast... concept proved, but needed refinement.  5 grams at the top of the pendulum, 10 at the bottom, 5 literally right above the pivot and try again.  Three times too fast.  5 grams top, 5 above the pivot, 15 at the bottom.... ah, no no, not enough clearance and it all jams.  So one 10-gram it weight it has to be.

So, back to 10 grams at the bottom, 5 above the pivot, 5 at the top of the pendulum (just a little lower down than previous) and it goes at double speed, very smoothly.  I suspect what I'm looking for is a little weight at the top to limit the speed, and probably a little more above the pivot (if I can get it there), and about what I already have right at the bottom of the pendulum. 

It's just a matter of calibration now.   
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Banfili
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« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2017, 10:20:59 pm »

Lot of fiddling, but will be satisfying when you get it right.  Grin
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James Harrison
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« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2017, 06:55:40 pm »

I'm genuinely at a point where I am considering settling for double speed. 

1) It runs sweetly, reliably and well at that speed. 

2) Efforts to reinstate the roller across the top resulted in the timer once again locking up. 

3) Experiments with more and less weights on the pendulum have resulted either in it not working, or else running at anything up to 10x speed. 

4) The more I fiddle with it, the more likely it becomes that I wreck some or other critical part of the motion.

5) All that double speed in effect means is that it becomes a 10-minute timer rather than a 20-minute one. 

6) The thing has only been intended as a novelty or desk top toy; it's not like I'm going to be using it for boiling an egg (for example), nor can I think of anything where I really need to time for 20 minutes (or anything above 5 minutes, really). 
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James Harrison
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« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2017, 07:47:24 pm »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et6-1mYMRLc


It lives!
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SeVeNeVeS
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« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2017, 08:00:02 pm »

That looks GREAT.

Where now? I see no hands, maybe a glass/ acrylic case to keep the dust away?

I really like it as is.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2017, 08:04:16 pm »

I'm thinking, drybrushed brass paint on the second and minute hands, to make them stand out. 

A glass dome would be nice, but expensive (I've got an anniversary clock with a glass dome which cost £££ to replace when my Mother did her typical thing and broke it....) 
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Banfili
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« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2017, 07:26:38 am »

Does it keep the right time now?
Good job, sir!  Grin
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